I was supposed to hang some stuff to make space in the garage. So I started indiscriminately screwing a bunch of crap into the joists. Now I realized that I was stupid in my haste. How do I evaluate this?

enter image description here

I drilled pilot holes for the large hooks (though probably not large enough - they were slightly smaller than the core of the screw), but not for the 3 wood screws in each of the 4 joists holding that extra board.

enter image description here

I think I used this simple 2-inch screw: i.stack.imgur.com/EkxHE.jpg (left over from a playhouse project, not even sure if it's brass or what?), but knowing me, it could have been a 1+1/2, 2+1/2 or 3-inch version.

What are the odds that I have created a serious structural defect for the bedroom above? I'm potentially weakening/splitting a bunch of nearby joists. People generally don't use pilot holes for drywall screws, right? But if I used larger/longer screws, it would be more likely to cause a problem. Would I cause more problems by taking out a couple screws to see?

  • I have hung hundreds of pounds from the ceiling using similar bolts / hooks pre-drilling is always a good idea for large screws / bolts. I doubt there will be any problems. – Ed Beal Mar 16 '17 at 18:52
  • 1
    That's how I pilot for utility hooks. SPF (pine) is soft enough that going a hair small is better than piloting exactly to the shank diameter. – isherwood Mar 16 '17 at 18:53
  • @isherwood if you drill it to shank size, you are not relying on wood compression at all to hold it, that seems crazy in redwood or pine. Honestly it seems like OP was guided by a good sense of how wood works. – Harper Mar 17 '17 at 13:05
  • Yep. As I said. What's your point? – isherwood Mar 17 '17 at 13:28

The thing is you are screwing against the grain - which is exactly why home construction is done the way it is, almost making it impossible to have to screw into framing with the grain.

Meaning you could easily put screws a good 40-50% of the dimensional thickness of the lumber with no repercussions. You could put in those hooks every foot on every rafter and they would have no impact at all. However... With hooks and screws usually comes weight. Bikes are no worry at all but if you start hanging large shelves in the middle of a 16 foot span in a garage, you should worry about sag. That is a different question though.


Almost none. You could splatter 1/2" lag bolts around your garage ceiling and it wouldn't be a problem. The remaining wood is more than adequate to handle the drywall, and as long as you don't have a lifetime collection of crap in your attic, you're just fine.

If there's a room above that was designed into the structure, it has at least 2x8 and probably 2x10 joists, into which you've plunged a few scrawny screws. They didn't even feel it.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.